Archives for posts with tag: newborn

Tomorrow Mr. Alexander will be exactly 12 weeks old. A couple days after Christmas he officially turns 3 months old. In our current state I live my life in hour by hour increments. I am still breastfeeding him and on average he eats every two hours. This is the average time. He has longer spurts and there are even times where he eats in under two hours.

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I am always checking my little breastfeeding app. How long has it been? How long-ish do I have? What can I get done before he cries out for me? Can I run to the store and be back in time so my husband isn’t trying to calm a very hungry caterpillar? Can I run to the store with both boys, putting Alex in the Ergo, get our errands done, get him back in the carseat and home without him wanting to eat?

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Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes the answer is I have lots of time. This afternoon has been one of those times. It is 3 and 1/2 hours and counting since he last ate. He is napping though and well, tick tock.

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There are times where the answer is no and Jackson and I are scrambling to drive home while Alexander is presenting us with his lively chorus of hunger. We live outside of Chicago. It is the end of December. It is in the 30’s. We are all always bundled up and stopping to nurse wherever can be tricky with several layers of clothing on! I have stopped the car a couple times and pulled over, climbed in the backseat or brought him in the front seat to nurse him. Especially when we have been very far from home.

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2 hour increments. That is life right now. It isn’t bad. It can be tiring. Say he eats for 20 minutes. I hold him for a little while after and we cuddle. I finally put him down and get up to do something. He decides he is hungry in under 2 hours. The 2 hours begin the moment he began nursing. There are times where I literally have 20 minutes to do something.

With Jackson I lounged around so much. That sweet boy and I would sit on the couch all day, drifting in and out of sleep and breastfeeding. Sometimes when Alexander is nursing I am thinking about how much I have to do and is he even done yet?? There is SO much laundry, toys everywhere, dishes galore, and I need to do something about some of it. I put him in a contraption much more often than I did Jackson. Sigh. The poor second child. I feel so guilty sometimes. But things have to be tidied up or we will be living in filth. I have to wash and dry laundry or we will run out of things to wear, and did I mention it is winter? Jackson needs to poop and needs me to wipe him. Jackson wants something to drink. Jackson wants to cuddle with momma.

2 hour increments. They really do fly by. There is no way it can be time to eat again already? Oh look, my app says it has been 1 hour and 58 minutes, so it CAN be time to eat again. Where did those two hours go? I swore I just finished nursing. I still have more dishes to load.

Then there are those moments at 3am, because he wakes up at 3am like clockwork. He stops nursing and I am holding him in my arms. He is sound asleep, ready for me to gently place him in his crib. I take a moment to breathe him in. I resist kissing his sweet little mouth because I don’t want to wake him. I settle for his little fingers instead. I try to focus on his sweet cherub face with what little light there is in his room. Those cheeks are so full. He looks so peaceful and content. He has really filled out since being born. His cheeks are so squishy. I see a little double chin. I know under his sleep sack and jammies there are two thighs that have several little rolls in them. His new jammies are 6 months.

I did that. In 2 hour increments, I did that. For now, those moments bring me back to what really matters. 2 hour increments can really accomplish more than I imagine.

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A common theme I see out in the mommyhood world is that we never have time to care for ourselves. I am usually rather baffled by any post regarding this. Since the birth of Jackson nearly 4 years ago I have never once left the house unkempt or in pajamas. That is just not my style or how I want to present myself out in the world. I am not saying it is effortless to get us all out the door cleaned, dressed, and coiffed. It takes a lot of balancing, rushing, and using our time down to the minute.

On that note, how does one maintain a fitness schedule with children in the home? That is also simple for me. I choose to do it. Since Jackson was 3 weeks old I have been working out in front of him. Alexander was around 2 & 1/2 weeks old when I started gentle workouts. I bring them to my Pilates room and they hang out. Jackson has started to take interest in trying things himself, so sometimes I train myself and him.

He is so used to it that the first place he looks for me every morning is my Pilates room. He leaves his room, walks across the hallway, and opens the door to see if I am in there already. For him, working out is just a normal part of our day.

I also own a jogging stroller. Around 5 months old I started taking Jackson on runs with me. This continued until the fall before I got pregnant with Alexander. During this spring and summer my jogger was used for walks with Jackson. Once spring rolls around and Alexander is 5 months old I will start going for runs with him after taking Jackson to school on Wednesday and Friday.

We also own a treadmill. We keep it in our basement, which is filled with the boys’ toys, a pool table, and a tv. Both my husband and I run on it while the kids are awake. They will hang out in the basement. There are all kinds of things for Jackson, and eventually Alexander, to do while one of us runs.

I feel it is so important that the kids see you taking care of yourself, especially through fitness. Children learn through example. You can talk until you are blue in the face sometimes, and they seem to ignore you. However, you will find that they will easily repeat things you say and act in ways you act. Fitness is no exception. Jackson has asked to go running with me, something we will start this spring as well. He always wants to try new Pilates moves. He has showed his classmates Pilates, and that was when he was 2 years old! So working out in front of your children is very beneficial for the whole family. The kiddos will want to be fit and healthy if they see you wanting to be fit and healthy.

I want to mention another important factor in our family fitness balancing act. Both my husband and I do not mind taking over the duties while the other one works out. Sometimes you want a quiet workout to yourself. That is when the other one steps up if they are home and keeps the children distracted. There is nothing wrong with wanting a little time to yourself and if you have your spouse there to help with that, then take advantage of it! All parents can use a little mind clearing peace and quiet from time to time.

There are many mornings where I set an alarm to wake up early enough to get that workout in. Things are a little different with a 6 week old, since his schedule is all over the place, but before he was born I knew what time to get up to get a workout in before we had to leave for the day. Now I adapt it around feeding times and getting out the door. It is all a balancing act of priorities. It is a priority for me to be in shape, so I make the time to maintain that.

That is how we do it in our home. That is how I manage to workout 6-7 days a week. I just adapt my schedule and incorporate my sweet boys into my workouts. I am raising the future generation of fitness fanatics. I am taking care of myself. I am taking care of my family. We are having fun. Which is the most important part!

Pilates with the boys

Pilates with the boys

Yesterday Alexander turned 1 month old. We told Jackson that it was like his birthday, he was a month old. He thought that meant we were throwing a party! All day he kept asking me when Alex’s party was. In his world, birthday equals a party. I tried to explain that it wasn’t a big birthday just a little one and the 4 of us would just celebrate at home. Preschoolers are so literal it is precious.

One month old

One month old

IMG_0210 IMG_0208Jackson picked out these monthly stickers well before Alexander was born. He saw me scrolling through Pinterest and stopped me when he saw these. He likes superheroes. I was planning on doing the monthly photos anyway, so I went ahead and bought what big brother picked out.

It has been almost 2 weeks since I last posted an update. I have been pretty tired. Ha! I wanted to write but my energy went elsewhere, the boys, nursing, working out, cleaning, errands. You know the drill. Last night I got a bit more sleep though. This week I even did Pilates two days in a row. I may do some this afternoon or we will go swimming tonight. I will say, things hurt. I am sore. It hurts to take a deep breath. I am so overjoyed at this! Dormant muscles are being used again. Since I refuse to weigh myself I keep thinking about losing what I call pregnancy inches. See ya later suckas!

I mentioned the tiredness. Alex has GREAT nights (last night) and he has terrible horrible no good very bad nights (the two nights before last). We weren’t the only ones exhausted from his all night parties. Jackson doesn’t nap much anymore. He certainly doesn’t go to his room for a sanctioned nap. This happened Monday evening as I was cooking dinner. He was watching The Little Mermaid when I looked over at him.

IMG_0159It was pretty adorable to see him just go for it. I wish I could nap like that, anytime anywhere!

We have been maintaing our normal schedule, preschool, soccer, tae kwon do. I go shopping with both boys regularly. We went to our first family party with Alex on Saturday. Life has kept moving forward even with our newborn addition. There’s no rest for the wicked. I would really like a little more rest though.

Alexander has been busy doing a lot of this IMG_0155

And this

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And this

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Babies have it rough.

He does feel heavier to me the past few days. I usually notice it as I am readjusting him to my arms after a nursing session. He feels more like something and less like air as I transition him. So, he is growing. He loves the Ergo carrier. I always have it with me. He loves ME to hold him. He can be screaming his head off for my husband and I just have to take him in my arms and he quiets. He doesn’t want to eat, he just wants momma.

Alex and Jacky are really adorable together. IMG_0164IMG_0070IMG_0027

see, I am tired....

see, I am tired….

Jackson just wants to help and be a part of everything. If Alex is in his swing crying and I am not there instantly, Jackson walks up to him and in a singsong high pitched voice and says “it’s ok, big brother is here. It’s ok. Jacky is here” He helped wash Alex’s hair the other night. He gets me my boppy if I ask him. He grabs diapers. He rubs Alex’s face. He hugs him. He is understanding when I need to shut my eyes on the couch in the afternoon while he watches way more TV that he should be.

Ah, one day we will go on our frequent adventures again. Right now though, we hang out at home way more than normal. I guess that is our temporary new normal. I am sure I will be more ready for all day long adventures just as the bitterness of winter is setting in. It is a good thing we live outside of Chicago, because at that point we will be museum frequenters. At least I have tons to choose from.

On that note, I have an hour to shower and get us out the door to preschool. Everyone but me is still asleep. Had it not been a school day, I too would still be laying in my bed drifting between awake and sleep until I heard those newborn hunger cries blaring through my monitor or until a 3 year old padded into my room and rubbed my face saying “mommy”

Two weeks. Today Alexander is two weeks old. I feel like it has been simultaneously the longest and shortest two weeks of my life. When I look back I cannot believe that at this time two weeks ago I was still pregnant. Starting labor. I had yet to meet this little bundle of joy. At the same time so much has been going on and some nights have been restless for him, making it seem like an incredibly long time. It is a bizarre feeling. Having two sensations of time at once. That is parenthood though. The same has happened with Jackson. Looking at him I cannot believe he is pushing 4 years old! I remember him being a little squish that I nursed round the clock. At the same time it feels like forever ago that he was tiny like Alex. Time flies. Time drags. Depending on the season or moment.

I haven’t started officially working out again. I have started going on walks with Alexander.

Our very first walk

Our very first walk

Our second walk. This time I wore him. He's my new favorite accessory!

Our second walk. This time I wore him. He’s my new favorite accessory!

We walk around our neighborhood. It is a couple miles. I am contemplating doing a post natal pilates video that is designed for post parturm starting at 0 weeks. Meaning I am two weeks into this recovery so it should be all good. We will see if I fit it in later today. I have gotten to the point where I simply cannot sit around doing nothing anymore. The walks have been so refreshing. The air is crisp and cool, so it feels very cleansing.

Happy two weeks my sunshine face. I look forward to each day, week, month, and year with you!

A happy Sunday morning!

A happy Sunday morning!

One worry I had even before getting pregnant with Alexander was “How could I ever love another baby as much as I love Jackson?” It was one reason I was hesitant to even try for another baby. I just wasn’t sure how it was possible. Even after finding out I was having another baby, I was slightly worried. Jackson has been my whole world for 3 & 1/2 years. How is there room in my heart for more love like that? I know other moms who have had the same concern, so I know I am not alone in that thinking.

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I am here to say that it is entirely possible. I have discovered that your heart just doubles its love storage. It simply opens up more space without even trying to. That baby left my body and in the space that was left over my heart took the opportunity to expand. I easily feel the same way about Alexander that I did about Jackson the moment I saw him. Pure, simple, astounding, overwhelming love. I would move mountains for both of these boys. At the same exact time if I had to.

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Reading a book to my sweethearts

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I also have more love for Jackson. I swoon every time I see him melt over Alexander. Let me just tell you what he decided to call Alex all on his own: Sunshine Face. That is what he calls his baby brother. I sometimes call Jackson that and on his own he just decided that would be his nickname for his baby brother. I about died of love when I heard him say it for the first time. A 3 & 1/2 year old using a nickname like that for his little brother. I thought to myself “I am doing something right here.” He wants to help me with everything. If I need the binky, he is there to find it. If I need a diaper, he will get one. Or any other number of small things I need help with, he is there to lend a hand.

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Watching my husband be a parent to two children has also made me love him more. He is my partner in crime. We work together and we divide and conquer. It has only been a week! Somehow, we effortlessly slipped into this rhythm. There was no laid out plan of who does what when. We just flow together and handle all that has been laid before us over this week. One night Jackson helped me cook dinner while Jason hung out with Alex. Last night I snuggled with Alex while Jason and Jackson made caramel apples together. Earlier in the day all four of us hung out in bed watching Jackson’s shows. Jason even drove to two different stores in the middle of the night and in the middle of a storm to find gas drops for Alex. He had awful gas on night and was so upset and in so much pain, we had to do something right then.

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When you look at all of this, it is safe to say maybe my heart more than doubled. It also squeezed out some more space in the Jason and Jackson spots. Everybody got some more room.

And me? I am feel very confident as a mom. I am feeling that even with the challenges that we have faced this week (there have been a few concerning Alex’s health. Jackson has had a couple of jealously moments, which is totally normal!) that I can and will do whatever it takes for all of my boys. Last night after getting Jackson in bed Alexander was hungry. Jason was holding him as I moved around the house trying to get things in order. I had to pee, I wanted to change into a nursing tank, I had to gather my boppy, water, etc. Jason was whispering to Alex, “Mommy will be ready soon. She is very busy. Lots to do here. She is almost ready. She is a busy lady.” It was true. Getting two kids situated for the night while healing from delivery is a busy time! It was nice to hear him appreciate that.

My first photo with both boys!

My first photo with both boys!

My belly is much smaller these days but my heart is much bigger. I will take that trade off any day!

I am on day 4 of being a mom to two boys! On Sunday, September 28th, at 4:38pm Alexander was born. 7lbs 2oz and 20 inches. He is pure sweet shiny new perfection. 19-DSC_6613

I was not planning on having a baby on Sunday. I had a long to do list of things. I definitely wanted to go grocery shopping. I was going to call a spa around 10am to see if they could fit me in for a prenatal massage. My shopping list was ready to go before 8am. I decided to not workout that morning. I was feeling pretty tired and realized I could use a rest day.

The day before I walked 2 miles on the treadmill. I even threw in a couple jogs. Very short and slow jogs. Nothing crazy. I did a touch of arm work after the run and a lot of stretching. We all went to Apple Fest with my mom, sister in law, and niece. We walked around a ton there. I started having contractions. Not just tightening but enough to stop me in my tracks a few times. They got down to about 7 minutes apart. We decided to head home and see where this took us. In the car I had one last one and then they stopped. Later in the evening I had a few more, but again they stopped. I figured just more false labor. I went to sleep, not knowing in less than 12 hours I would be in active labor!

Around 8:30am I hopped in the shower and I was having even more painful contractions than the day before. They were closer this time. I ate some breakfast and got ready for the day. I was still not convinced. Around 9:30 they got even worse than they had been and were coming 2-3 minutes apart. I walked the staircase in our backyard over and over until I reached 10:30 and they had been happening for an hour. Jackson spent some time walking with me! I called my OB. She told me to head on over to the hospital. So much for that massage.

My labor walking partner

My labor walking partner

By the time I arrived to the hospital I was 5cm dilated. 6 days before I had only been 1cm! I said “I am not going home today, am I?” The answer was no. It was time. I wanted a natural birth. That was my plan. I declined the epidural and fluids. I agreed to a port during my blood draw just because it is easier to do it then instead of during an emergency. I also agreed to letting my Dr. break my water because she explained it progresses things faster and she hates to see people in pain longer than they need to be. That is when the party got started. My husband took some photos during my labor. I was initially pretty mad because I had no idea. Now, as I write this, I am a touch thankful.

This was before things got exciting. And before my parents arrived to help out with Jackson. See, I am still smiling. That changes fast.

This was before things got exciting. And before my parents arrived to help out with Jackson. See, I am still smiling. That changes fast.

As contractions are wont to do, mine progressively got worse and worse. The pain was incredible. The downtime was heaven. But then, my downtime started to disappear.

They had me on my side because his heart rate dipped. If I was gripping, things hurt.

They had me on my side because his heart rate dipped. If I was gripping, things hurt.

The contractions kept getting closer and closer together. Totally normal. Then, the downtime started to vanish. I would be on my way down from a painful contraction, never quite hitting 0, and another contraction would start. It would spike off the charts again and have to work its way down. Sometimes I was having 3 minute long contractions. The break in between those would be a minute or a minute and a half. IMG_8931

My Dr came in and asked for me to consider agreeing to a fluid IV to try to hydrate me. She thought I was dehydrated and that could be why these contractions were overlapping. She wanted to get me a break of 2-3 minutes in between each one. I agreed to the fluids. They ended up not helping much. She came back later and said I still wasn’t always getting a break and when I was that they were only maybe a minute and a half. She mentioned I still had the option for an epidural. She hated sitting out there at the desk watching the monitor knowing what I was going through. I hadn’t dilated past 7 at this point. I was frustrated but I held off.

The contractions started to exhaust me. I just wanted to sleep after each one. I felt like I was at the end of a long hard day after every single contraction. But I never got the rest time. It was boom boom boom. The pain was in my back, uterus, and would shoot down my quads into my knees. I tried all kinds of labor positions. Kneeling almost made the leg pain worse. I found nothing that worked in helping me work through it. There were contractions where I couldn’t even breathe through them. I was trying but even breathing hurt. My mom was trying to remind me to breathe. Jason was having a very hard time seeing me in such pain.  I started to get worried that I wouldn’t be able to push. I was so tired. So so so tired.

At my next check I was 8cm. At the check after that I was still 8cm. The epidural was mentioned again. I asked how long I had to decide on that. The nurse told me as long as I liked. I could get it whenever. She left the room. I had another long contraction. I told Jason to go tell her to get the anesthesiologist. I felt as if I were caving. This wasn’t my plan. I am a strong person, I should have been able to do this. I was just so tired. I know I am a great pusher. I know I have the core strength to push him out, but my energy had been depleted. I was really worried that when it came down to it, during those long contractions, I wouldn’t have the energy to push. Which could result in a C-section. I knew that was number one on my ‘I don’t want it” birth list. So my decision had been made. I weighed my options and went with the one that I thought would still result in the birth I would be most satisfied with.

After the epidural I was able to relax. It wasn’t long before my next check. My Dr said I was just about 10. Asked me to give a little push to try to get a part of my cervix to complete its disappearance. She said “oh you are a good pusher. His head is right there. I was going to have you push one more time but never mind. It is time to deliver. I am going to get ready.”

My mom left the room at 4:26. The doctor and nurses finished getting everything all ready. At 4:30 I started pushing. At 4:38, Alexander John entered this world. He entered with the cord around his neck and he was blue. My husband said that my Dr got that cord off so fast it was amazing. In one swift movement she unwrapped it from him. The cord was also wrapped around his leg, which I got a glimpse of. When they put him on my belly he was blue and not crying. My brain was racing “why isn’t he crying. He should be crying.” It was a blur. A nurse (who happened to help deliver Jackson as well!) started to fuss with him and he started crying. My life was complete in that moment. They put him on my chest and I held that sweet boy for the very first time. They took him away to get him ready for some more snuggles.

My first photo with my sunshine face

My first photo with my sunshine face

We were able to go home the next day, per our request. We wanted to get settled into our home with both of our sweethearts. We hate hospitals. Don’t most people? He is mostly healthy. Very tiny and a little jaundice. So his pediatrician is monitoring that. He has lost 8% of his birthweight. We have a follow up tomorrow to see if we packed some ounces on him. I have been nursing on demand all week. He eats close to every hour over night. If he even whines I offer him a boob! Ha! Time to chunk this little monkey up.

Jackson is over the moon for his baby brother! He is wonderful with helping. Jason and I are doing a great job being partners and making sure Jackson gets some one on one attention too. Family time and one on one time with each boy. We definitely got this. IMG_8785 IMG_8889 IMG_8957 IMG_8990

We are in love and I really do feel like my life is complete. I am so happy to have two children. I am enjoying the balancing the needs of both. I truly feel like I was born to be a mom. I do other things. I love teaching Pilates when I am working. But nothing gives me joy like being a mom first and foremost. I easily throw all of my energies into my family. I feel satisfied and content with that role. My heart is warm and overflowing with joy. Even if I haven’t slept. Even if Jackson was asking for Cheerios while I was trying not to pee my pants and make him a bowl and Alexander started crying at the same moment and I realized my husband put the old almond milk I wanted to toss back in the fridge and now I can’t tell the difference between the new and old. Which was this morning. It lasted 3 minutes and was chaotic, but it was home, it was life, it was uniquely mine and I wouldn’t trade it for a thing!

Welcome to the world sweet boy. Welcome to our family. You were made especially for us and you are perfect. 12-DSC_6563 11-DSC_6558IMG_8966 IMG_8979 IMG_8980

This month has brought so much joy with it! Mother’s Day was wonderful. My husband really went out of his way to make sure I felt special and appreciated. I was showered with 3 bouquets of flowers! One from each of my boys. I got several wonderful gifts, including a book with 50 reasons why Jacky loves me! Jason asked him all the questions and then filled out his 3 year old answers. It was easily the most precious thing ever.

We had our anatomy ultra sound, which confirmed the DNA results, we are definitely having another boy! His gender image was as clear as Jackson’s. I saw the penis before she even pointed it out. Everything else went well with that check up. My mom came with us and was able to get a real time sneak peak at her youngest grandchild. The kicker? He was waving at us. His little tiny hand waving back and forth near his face at one point. It was so sweet.

On the same day I reached 20 weeks, half way through, my sister in law was induced! The following morning at 3:03, my sweet pea niece was born. Oh my goodness! I am so in love with her. It is ridiculous. I have my boys at home, but to have a sweet little girl I get to spoil and send back to my brother and sister in law, oh that is just wonderful. I am over the moon with her. It is too funny because cause was born at 6lbs 3oz, and my child has literally never been that small outside of my uterus! I couldn’t believe how much of a difference a pound and a half and one inch makes in a newborn. I remember how little Jack was, but I could immediately tell she was so much smaller than he was. Babies are so incredible.

Jacky was a little afraid of her at first. He has never seen a baby that little. He didn’t want to hold her, but he was ok with touching her arm and face if someone else was holding her. When we got home we were looking at photos and he said “I love her!” They are going to be best friends! Our family is going to have three little cutie pies running around causing mischief. I cannot wait.

As far as this pregnancy, it is still far different than my first. My cravings are all healthy. I love limes, lemons, fruit, rice, more fruit, leafy greens, all natural almond butter, and so much water! It has been nice to not be craving junk 24/7. I move a lot as well. Having a 3 year old will do that to you. Life is different with a second pregnancy, but not bad. Just more to do and take care of. Less time to sit around eating and not moving! Ha! I will take it! On that note, today is a rest day. Mostly because My body is so sore from my workouts the past two mornings. But I will clean my home and move around.

20 weeks

20 weeks

This was yesterday morning. The middle of 20 weeks actually, but still in that half way point week. In all seriousness, I believe that 21 weeks will be the halfway point. Jacky was almost a week late. I have no misconceptions this time about my baby arriving on his actual due date. Ah, you learn so much the second time around! Two days ago also brought one more surprise. For the first time, we were able to feel Alexander kick by touching my belly! Jason was able to feel it as well. I know for certain we didn’t feel Jacky this early on. I know I was feeling movements, but Jason couldn’t feel them yet. I was totally shocked by it. Definitely happy, because it was an unexpected surprise!

I hope everyone is also having an awesome May! Here’s to the rest of the month being so wonderful.